Court records: Social media posts lead to change of venue request in Jason Brown case

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- After a change of venue motion was filed by the attorney's for the man accused of shooting and killing Lt. Aaron Allan, court records shed light on the reason for the request.

It's been a little more than a month since Southport Police Lt. Aaron Allan was shot and killed in the line of duty. The man who police say is responsible, Jason Brown, is facing murder charges.

Now, Brown's attorney is asking for the case to be moved to another county. Attorney Jack Crawford isn't involved in this case but said he believes the request will be granted.

"My expectation is that the case will go a different county, because Lt. Allan’s death received so much publicity here in the central Indiana area that it might be difficult to find 12 people who haven’t heard about this case and haven’t formed an opinion," said Crawford.

Crawford said typically, change of venue motions are filed after public polling. A survey is done to ask Indy residents if they know about the case and if they feel a suspect is guilty. According to court documents, that wasn't done in this case.

Social media posts are used as exhibits shown in court records. Brown's attorneys cited posts that include threatening and derogatory language directed to Brown. The motion states Brown's attorneys feel he is unable to receive a fair trial in Marion County because of "public hostility" against him.

"I'm just a little bit uneasy about using social media response as a gauge of whether or not people in a particular community have already formed an opinion about a case," Crawford said.

The Marion County Prosecutor's Office will also have to consider the financial burden. The cost to move one of the Richmond Hill trials to another county was more than $60,000.

"It’s very costly to transfer a lot of witnesses and my expectation is this case will have a lot of witnesses. To transfer all those people up to for example northern Indiana is going to cost them time, effort, money," Crawford said.

Marion County has 30 days to respond to the motion. The county has also not made a decision on whether they will seek the death penalty.

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